The ‘last night of freedom’ can be a wonderful time for some fabulous female bonding with your best friends and you don’t have to spend a small fortune to have a good time! Planning a hen night sleepover is not only a lovely way of marking the end of an era and celebrating the start of a new one, it’s also a great cost-cutting hen night idea. They do say staying in is the new going out…
Here are my top tips to ensure you have a memorable hen night sleepover:
Unless you own a mansion or can hire out a dorm, it’s best to keep a sleepover to single figures. Any more than 12 and it can get hard work for you, and you’ll lose the sense of close bonding felt with 6 or 7 of your closest friends and family.
Set the scene
Lighting is key for getting the look right for any special party. Decorate your rooms with pretty fairy lights, lanterns or votive candles and tealights, making sure they can’t be knocked over. Music will get everyone in the party mood and you should have your lighting and music ready before anyone arrives.
You can either go to town on the food and order in special buffet bites from your local party catering service (see M&S, your local bakers or most supermarkets) or get everyone involved by making some interestingly shaped pizzas yourselves with a pizza base dough and some usual toppings! Just remember to find out who is veggie before assuming everyone will eat meat or fish.
Another fun idea is to have a fondue – either the classic cheese fondue where you all dip toasted bread or meat and vegetables into hot cheese, or a funky chocolate fondue where you each dip strawberries, marshmallows and other sweet treats or fruits into heated chocolate.
If you prefer to get everyone involved then ask each guest to bring a dish and allocate one person to bring nachos and cheese, another to bring a pasta salad, another to bring a cake and so on.
Have a cake stand full of pretty cupcakes for dessert and mix some colourful cocktails if you dare! Treat your chicks to a personalised hen night shot glass, a stylish keepsake for your best friends.
A champagne jelly or a vodka melon makes a very special finishing touch! If it’s close to Christmas then mulled wine makes the perfect first drink.
Things to do
A pamper party is a lovely way to begin the night with scrummy scented face masks, luscious creams and super funky nail varnish colours for all. If you want an organised party then book a Body Shop or Virgin Vie lady to come along and do her thing. One of your group could have a makeover and you could all learn a few handy beauty tips and have the opportunity to buy some new make up or bath goodies.
A sing-along movie on DVD such as Grease, High School Musical or Mamma Mia will get everyone laughing, as will a go on a karaoke machine!
If your sleepover is close to Halloween why not turn the lights off and watch a horror movie in the dark then share scary stories by candle light straight after.
Get everyone to bring their PJs and a sleeping bag and pillow or, if you have the budget, have some personalised PJs made up for everyone to keep as a reminder of your hen night.
Capture the memories
Make sure you capture all the best bits with your camera then have the photos printed and send the highlights to everyone after as a memento of the night. Better still, give everyone their own disposable cameras as well as having your trusty digital to hand! Make a hen night memories scrapbook so you always remember your special sleepover night.
Finally, remember to get some lovely breakfast foods in for the morning such as croissants and jam, pain au chocolate or fresh fruit and yogurts. Then when it’s time for everyone to leave, wave them off with a specially made up party bag full of keepsakes, sweet treats or pampering goodies. Your friends will love you even more than they did before! Oh and make sure you get some Alka Seltzer in too… just in case!
Loving the L‐plates or seeking a little sophistication? Follow our guide to hen and stag party success Forget all that ball‐and‐chain, 'last days of freedom' stuff. Today's stag and hen…
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.